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  • Richard Conniff writes about behavior, in humans and other animals, on two, four, six, and eight legs, plus the occasional slither.

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Unlikely Friendship?

Posted by Richard Conniff on June 26, 2012

I was just loving this photo from Emilie Genty.  Then those damned Facebook commenters had to point out that the toad is dead and probably intended as dinner.  Alternatively, there is a youtube video of a chimp using a toad as a sex toy.

Either way, probably a good thing National Geographic isn’t showing the next few frames in this series.  Photographer Genty, by the way, is a post-doc at the University of St. Andrews, researching vocal and gestural communication among bonobo chimps.


3 Responses to “Unlikely Friendship?”

  1. Emilie Genty said

    May I comment this post by saying that the toad was indeed dead at the time of the photo but was never intended as dinner. This female is very playful and very often plays with the small animals that she encounters, just like a kid would play with a doll. It is just very unfortunate that bonobos are much stronger animals than frogs and the latter usually don’t survive from receiving far too much attention. The following shots would only show more interactions before the frogs being abandonned but it wouldn’t have been eaten, the bonobos diet being mainly frugivorious !
    Regards, Emilie Genty.

  2. subg88 said

    Anything that puts a toad on its chest and smiles is not an animal.

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